April 28, 2004

Writers: One Day of Professional Editing to Highest Bidder


GONE: Winning Bid was $800 BY ERIC B.

Auction CLOSED Wednesday Evening, April 28, at 10:00 PM Pacific Time.

Authors,Writers, and Fellow Americans! This is Your Chance to Join the Exclusive and Expensive Gerard Van der Leun Famous Writers Boot Camp at a Discount

Hereís the deal: If you give the most to Spirit of America via The Victory Coalition through the auction here, Iíll give you a day of professional editing. (Details below)

Why would you want that?

Because no matter who you are or what you write, you need careful editing and an honest evaluation. And Iím the man to do it.

For over 30 years Iíve been working with writers of fiction and non-fiction to bring their manuscripts up to par and seeing them through the publishing process. Iíve been a magazine editor and a book editor and a literary agent. Iíve seen it all. Iíve worked with the best and the worst. And Iíve made all of them better -- sometimes with a scalpel, sometimes with a hand grenade, but most of the time with my blue pencil.

Among those writers I have worked with in the course of my career are people such as Steve King, R. Crumb, Harlan Ellison, Andre Dubus, and Robert Fulghum.

Iíve edited and published more than 200 books for the Houghton Mifflin Company where I worked as Senior Editor and Director of Trade Paperback Publishing. Iíve edited dozens of writers as a magazine editor for Earth Magazine, Viva Magazine, Omni Magazine and Penthouse Magazine.

Iíve written and had published two books of my own and ghosted a few as well. (No, you donít get to know which ones those were.)

My own magazine articles have been published in Time, Omni, Penthouse, and Wired among others.

Iím found among that rarest fauna of editors: the line editor. That means I donít just opine and book you on the nearest talk show and then take a long lunch at Michael's. I get under the hood of your writing with my blue pencil and mark it up until it bleeds. Then help you stitch it back up, make it pretty, and send it out.

Warning! This can be a brutal process so if you are looking for someone to glance at your work and tell you how wonderful it is, ask your mother. If you want to BE ALL THE WRITER YOU CAN BE be prepared to donate until it hurts.

I currently bill my time at $200 and hour and up, but you can have a day of my professional working life applied to your manuscript if yours is the highest bid to donate to The Victory Coalitionís Drive at Spirit of America.

Thatís a $1,600 value but bidding will start here at $200.00

It closes Thursday, April 29, at 12:01 PM Pacific Time.
CORRECTION: Auction will close Wednesday Evening, April 28, at 10:00 PM Pacific Time.
[Otherwise, how would we know?]

The Victory Coalition donation information and page can be found here at: The Spirit of America

Enter your bid here in the comments below in some amount north of $200 and, at the end of bidding, supply proof of your donation, and my time becomes your time. It can be one 8-hour day or the same 8 hours spread out over time. Weíll work it out.

If you live within a reasonable distance of Laguna Beach, California, we can arrange a face to face workshop. If not, weíll do it via the Internet or even the old fashioned way -- real mail. Either way, there will be hard copy involved.The choice and timing and one day of my professional life will be yours.

Remember, some give all -- so you can give some. Plus your writing will be the better for it.

Posted by Vanderleun at April 28, 2004 10:00 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.




Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at April 26, 2004 8:56 AM

Cool concept! And I'm amazed that I'd been visiting the site of a editorial luminary and had no idea! Though I rather suspected you were of that ilk. The quality of your writing shows.

You used to be an agent?

Posted by: Jeremiah at April 26, 2004 12:57 PM

Yes, but that's another issue. We're just trying to raise some money here.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at April 26, 2004 1:07 PM

Hm! If you're that good an editor, maybe we should talk...!

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at April 26, 2004 2:49 PM

I'll start the bidding at $205.

Posted by: Eric B at April 26, 2004 7:09 PM

Quick question, Gerard: Does Harlan still like you?

Eight hours, hm?


Posted by: Meryl Yourish at April 26, 2004 7:41 PM

Very funny, Meryl. Of course not. He's *Harlan*!

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at April 26, 2004 9:18 PM

Gah! I knew that bid wouldn't last long. Unfortunately, I don't know if I can afford to go any higher. I'll have to do some figuring and come back.

Posted by: Eric B at April 26, 2004 11:04 PM

I can bid $250.

Posted by: Crank at April 27, 2004 12:36 PM


Posted by: Lornkanaga at April 27, 2004 1:27 PM

Question for Gerard:

The SoA Challenge ends 4/29, 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but your auction ends 12 hours later, (4/29, 12:01 p.m. Pacific Time). But even if they ended at the same time, by the time we know who the auction winner is, it would be too late for the winner to donate and have the money credited to the Victory Coalition. Wouldn't it? Or is there a way for the winner to donate after the fact?


Posted by: Eric B at April 27, 2004 10:59 PM

Good point, Eric.

On that note, I'll up the bid to $400 while I still have time (g).

Posted by: Lornkanaga at April 28, 2004 6:53 AM

The time limit has been extended to 11:59:59 Thursday evening.

Posted by: Plunge at April 28, 2004 2:55 PM


Posted by: gerard Van der Leun at April 28, 2004 3:36 PM

Can I make an "envelope" bid? You know, like eBay, so that way I don't have to worry about someone outbidding me at the last moment. And if someone *does* outbid me, it will be for more than I'm willing to pay (g).

Please? It's for charity, after all. ;^)

Posted by: Lornkanaga at April 28, 2004 3:50 PM

Lornkanaga: I was wondering the same thing.

Posted by: Eric B at April 28, 2004 5:01 PM

I really don't want to stay up until 1am just to make sure I'm not outbid.

Are you going to post another bid, Eric?

Posted by: Lornkanaga at April 28, 2004 5:07 PM

$450 in addition to the $50 I've already given.

Posted by: George Jenson at April 28, 2004 6:00 PM

What do I look like? A massive ebay server farm?

Am I wearing my NO-SNIPING! tee-shirt.

This is but a humble blog auction. A one time event. You makes yer best bid and ya takes yer chances.

But thanks for asking.

Let me assure you that right now *I* don't want to stay up. I have to be up at 5:30 to drive to Camp Pendelton.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at April 28, 2004 7:34 PM

Lornkanaga: I truly don't know. I can afford to bid more, but I'm trying to decide if I should spend that much money on this.

Posted by: Eric B at April 28, 2004 7:36 PM

And I, too, have already donated $50 -- I don't think that makes a difference here. It's a good cause and all, but it really is getting to be a lot of money.

Posted by: Eric B at April 28, 2004 7:43 PM


Posted by: Eric B at April 28, 2004 9:43 PM

Any snipers sniping?

Posted by: Eric B at April 28, 2004 9:59 PM

Just as soon as I get confirmation from Gerard, I'll be off to donate.

Posted by: Eric B at April 28, 2004 10:08 PM

Gerard must be sleeping, eh? Or maybe he really *is* a massive eBay server farm and he's down for routine maintenance. Either way, I'm going out on a limb and donating now. Proof will be forthcoming.

Posted by: Eric B at April 29, 2004 12:46 AM

Sorry. I *was* sleeping and am not a server farm which never sleep.

I confirm by the tag to the post that Eric is the winner of the auction with a bid of $800 at 9:43 PM .

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at April 29, 2004 3:01 AM


Congrats, Eric!

Posted by: Lornkanaga at April 29, 2004 9:01 AM